During the 2016 election season, several offices in the Archdiocese partnered together to launch a program – Civilize It – that called on both the principles of USCCB’s Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship and our faith’s demand that we recognize and honor the dignity of every person. (Prior to the 2020 election, the USCCB adopted this program as part of their national initiative to call for charity, clarity, and creativity in our politics.) At the same time…

In the wake of the very divisive 2016 election, a new organization – Braver Angels – was formed to heal the division that was tearing us apart. The founders harkened back to President Lincoln’s call for us to appeal to our “better angels” to guide us towards reconciliation, peace, and civility. (Since that time, Braver Angels has grown into a national organization with coordinators in all 50 states.)

In recent months, the Respect Life and Social Action offices have been working with Braver Angels to bring these two programs together: using the ideals and values of Civilize It and the proven practices of Braver Angels. The overlap of the ideas of the two programs is overwhelming, and the synergy that has been created has been significant.

We are proud to now be able to offer the first fruits of this work. The primary workshop of Braver Angels is the Red-Blue Workshop, and we are offering, for the first time, the Red-Blue Workshop – Catholic version. We’ll share more about the content of the workshop next month, but here are details to save on your calendar: the workshop will take place on two successive Thursdays – June 2nd and 9th from 6:00-9:00pm (over Zoom). There are a limited number of spots available so we’ll have registration for the program, and we’ll be sure to have an equal number of people who tend to lean red and tend to lean blue.

If you have any questions, please contact the Social Action Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Don’t forget to save the dates, and look for more information next month.

Description

Join us for a two-part online workshop that brings together Red (conservative or Republican-leaning) and Blue (liberal or Democratic-leaning) citizens for moderated activities and structured discussions that reduce stereotyped thinking, clarify disagreements, build relationships and find common ground through listening and learning rather than declaring and debating.

This workshop is hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The framework of this Braver Angels workshop will include guidance based on our Catholic values and beliefs. Each workshop will open and close in prayer.

Registation

Registering for Part 1 (June 2nd) automatically includes you in Part 2 (June 9th) of the workshop. This workshop is conducted on two separate Thursday evenings and is three hours for each session. It is important to be available and committed for both segments. Register here in advance.

Process

In part one, participants get to know one another and a foundation of trust is established. This paves the way for a deeper dive into authentic, respectful and thought-provoking questions and answers in part two.

Who can attend?

Catholic parishioners who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of, and connection with, people whose political beliefs differ from their own. This Braver Angels workshop has been revised to incorporate Catholic values and perspectives. There are two ways to join a Red/Blue Workshop: as a Participant or as an Observer.

  • Participants engage in small – and large – group discussions with individuals of both the same and different political persuasions. Participants identify as “red” or “blue” leaning. We strive for an equal balance of red and blue participants: 6 to 8 people on each side.
  • Observers watch and listen, but do not participate in the discussions.

Workshop Goals

  • To better understand the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide;
  • To seek out areas of common ground in addition to acknowledging and respecting difference;
  • To gain insights that might help to heal the increasing polarization in our community and the nation.

Questions?

Andrew Musgrave, Director Social Justice Office: amusgrave@catholicaoc.org

Bob Wulzelbacher, Director Respect Life Ministries: bwurzelbacher@catholicaoc.org

The Institute for Religious Liberty at Thomas More University presents this fall interfaith program.

Since 1990 David Harris has led American Jewish Committee (AJC), which has been described by the NewYork Times as the “dean of American Jewish organizations.” Harris was dubbed by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as the “foreign minister of the Jewish people.” Harris has been honored more than 20 times, including by the governments of Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine for his international efforts on behalf of the defense of human rights, advancement of the transatlantic partnership, and dedication to the Jewish people. He has written hundreds of articles in leading media outlets. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania and London School of Economics, Harris has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University and Oxford University.

Join us for this four-session program that explores the systems of oppression present in our world. Together, we will identify the impact that different systems have on different people and communities. We will also think critically about ways to take action to lessen the impact that these systems have in our world. This is a great way to add skills and knowledge to your toolkit while in conversation with other youth from around the United States.

Dates: Tuesday and Thursday, October 12, 14, 19, and 21 | 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern (4-5:30 p.m. Pacific)

Cost: Free
Grade: 
Current 9th to 12th graders
Open to: 
Youth based in the United States
Location: 
Anywhere! This is a virtual program.

Join us for a Shoulder to Shoulder public conversation on “Multifaith Solidarity: 20 Years Since 9/11” on Thursday, September 9th at 1:00pmET with Imam Khalid Latif who serves as University Chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU.

In conversation with Shoulder to Shoulder, Imam Latif will share stories and insights from his ongoing work “to carve out a much-needed space for young American Muslims to celebrate their unique identity and have their voices heard in the larger public sphere.” He’ll reflect on the layered impacts and repercussions of 9/11, how it changed America in many ways, and how 9/11 shifted how Americans who are Muslim (and those who are perceived to be) experience life in the U.S. (even for those who weren’t born yet).

Imam Latif will also highlight his experiences and perspectives on building multifaith solidarity, working alongside folks of different faith and cultural backgrounds in order to advance justice and inclusion here in the U.S. Together, we’ll explore what brings us hope, what connects us to one another across differences, and what motivates us to continue on in this work of building a society where all are treated with dignity.

Register at this link.

Mark your calendar for the 4th Annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths August 22-29, 2021 (virtually presented)

This year’s theme: “Compassion through Action: We are in it Together”
Cultural, spiritual, and fun activities for all ages.

Please join EquaSion at this year’s Festival of Faiths, presented virtually from August 22-29.

This year’s activities will include representation by several of Cincinnati’s diverse faith groups and their leaders.

Presently, more than 50 civic leaders and representatives of our region’s diverse faith traditions are again collaborating as planners of this year’s 4th Annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths.

The Festival is our community’s most inclusive gathering of area religious groups, involving more than 30 distinct faith traditions representing 14 world religions.

The Festival’s purposes are to showcase our community’s rich religious diversity, remind us of religion’s contributions to our community’s quality of life, and to demonstrate the unity of our interfaith community.

More details to follow. For the latest updates and information, please follow EquaSion on Facebook and/or Twitter.

MAY 19TH @ 7PM- Join the program committee of EquaSion’s “A Mighty Stream” Interfaith Racial Justice Initiative for the second webinar in a four-part series examining Faith Perspectives on Racial Justice. This panel aims to explore our spiritual understanding of race, racism, and racial just ice, by applying scriptures, tenets, practices, contemporary writings and/or beliefs to discover the ways we are called individually or collectively to enter racial justice work. Panelists will consider how to enter into truly transformational relationships across difference as an active demonstration of love and justice. Register Here.

Featured Panelists

  • Rev. Canon Paul Williams, Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal
  • Aruni Marapane, Buddhist Chaplain representing eight Buddhist temples in Cincinnati
  • Jheri Neri, Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition
  • Rev. Dr. Paul Booth, Jr., Pastor, Legacy Pointe Church
  • Dr. Deborah Vance, Cincinnati Baha’i Community
  • Tammy Bennett (Host), “A Mighty Stream” Program Committee; Partner, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

We know how powerful it can be when youth voices are lifted and amplified. In this short program, participants will learn the skills of telling your own story and translating it into digital media that can be shared far and wide. We will be joined by Seeds of Peace GATHER Fellow and NYC educator Molly Josephs, who runs a podcast with youth called This Teenage Life. At the end of the four sessions, participants will have composed and recorded their own dialogue/conversations on a topic of their choosing, which will be edited into a special Seeds of Peace episode of This Teenage Life podcast.

Registration Deadline: February 26th

Visit event page here.

Everything in history matters – even when it is minimized or swept away. Come explore the connections between past and modern day experiences in our communities. In this program, we will learn about the history of enslavement in our country that began more than 400 years ago. What does enslavement look like now? How can we learn from these historic and modern day connections as we strive to live as anti-racist peacebuilders?

Registration Deadline: February 12th

Everything in history matters – even when it is minimized or swept away. Come explore the connections between past and modern day experiences in our communities. In this program, we will learn about the history of enslavement in our country that began more than 400 years ago. What does enslavement look like now? How can we learn from these historic and modern day connections as we strive to live as anti-racist peacebuilders?

Registration Deadline: February 12th